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ATP Statement On Novak Djokovic Entry Into Australia

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

The ATP fully respects the sacrifices the people of Australia have made since the onset of COVID-19 and the stringent immigration policies that have been put in place. Complications in recent days related to player entry into Australia have however highlighted the need for clearer understanding, communication and application of the rules.

In travelling to Melbourne, it’s clear Novak Djokovic believed he had been granted a necessary medical exemption in order to comply with entry regulations. The series of events leading to Monday’s court hearing have been damaging on all fronts, including for Novak’s well-being and preparation for the Australian Open. Player medical exemption requests are made independently of ATP, however we have been in constant contact with Tennis Australia to seek clarity throughout this process. We welcome the outcome of Monday’s hearing and look forward to an exciting few weeks of tennis ahead.

More broadly, ATP continues to strongly recommend vaccination for all players on the ATP Tour, which we believe is essential for our sport to navigate the pandemic. This is based on scientific evidence supporting the health benefits provided and to comply with global travel regulations, which we anticipate will become stricter over time. We are encouraged that 97 per cent of the Top 100 players are vaccinated leading into this year’s Australian Open.

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Nadal: 'I’m Very Satisfied On A Personal Level'

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

The ability to come back after a rough patch is something of a hallmark, even a speciality, of Rafael Nadal’s career. He seems to have an innate talent for overcoming any obstacles in his path. The Spaniard won his 89th tour-level title in Melbourne on Sunday, leaving behind the woes of an injury to his left foot and a positive COVID-19 test that hampered his preseason and made his return to competition all the more difficult.

“Given what we went through, this is a very special title,” Nadal said, with a trophy in his hands. “I’m not really one to say this, but I think I’m pretty satisfied on a personal level. I’ve been through a lot of tough times and I never lost hope or my desire to work with the right attitude. I feel happy about it and reaping the rewards with a title always makes it worth it.”

The Spaniard, who has now won an ATP Tour title for the 19th consecutive season, was particularly effusive in the evaluation of his victory in Australia. It’s not the biggest title of his career, the win itself will not change his place in the history of the sport, but it is a sign he is on the right path; one where he has the desire to persevere and face up to any challenge that presents itself.

“Winning is always special, whatever the title is. At the end of the day, it’s another title for my CV. But I’m happy about it, particularly because I know what we went through,” acknowledged Nadal, thinking back to the mission he embarked on in September to treat the dysplasia in his left foot and the 10 days he had to isolate at home, unable to practise in the midst of the preseason due to coronavirus.

“Knowing how much work we did. My family and team have been there for me unconditionally during all these months, which have been difficult,” Nadal added. “There were many doubts, there still are. Let’s be honest. It’s just a start, but it’s a positive start. I’m very satisfied.

“The first four days were terrible, I couldn’t move. I had awful joint pain,” he remembers in detail. “I was either on the sofa or in bed, unable to move. I had a high fever. That was the first four days. Then I was very tired for three days. Around the eighth day, as I have a bike at home, I started to do half an hour very lightly in order to start working. Then I had a negative [test] and I was able to train the odd day at home. I decided to leave for Australia because I understood that it was best for me mentally and in terms of my tennis.”

The final against Maxime Cressy, an exponent of serve-volley tennis, provided Nadal with an opportunity to fine tune his game in a difficult tactical context and also a final competitive match before turning his mind to the Australian Open.

“Today was a very positive match against an opponent who was very awkward and very difficult,” offered the Spaniard. “I did a lot of things well; I served well, I returned well. From the baseline I think I played points more within myself, with more restraint when hitting the ball. My movements were much more fluid. In general, I did a lot of things better than yesterday. I’m sure this will help me to go forward positively and give me energy for this week of training, which will be important.

“I know that I’m coming from a very tough situation. I understand that expectations are always high, because of what I’ve done in my career, but my approach is a little different. I will try to make every day, every training session, count. At the moment, I don’t feel like a genuine contender for what might come in a week. Later, you never know. Things change quickly in sport. What I have to do is be prepared for what might happen. If things improve, I’ll be here. You know I will give everything to try and have a chance. That’s why I’m here. Right now, my only goal is to stay on my path, work hard during the week and see if I am ready when I get there.”

Nadal continues to show what he has shown throughout his career; when difficulties present themselves, and against all odds, his willpower will always find a way.

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Kukushkin & Albot Claim Australian Open Qualifying Wins

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

Former World No. 39 Mikhail Kukushkin began his Australian Open qualifying campaign with victory on Monday, defeating Mirza Basic 6-2, 6-3.

The 34-year-old, who reached the fourth round in Melbourne in 2012, won 89 per cent (31/35) of his first-serve points to advance in 65 minutes. Kukushkin will face two-time tour-level champion Robin Haase in the second round after the Dutchman edged Andrej Martin 6-0, 4-6, 7-5.

Damir Dzumhur moved past Australian Li Tu 6-1, 6-3 in 78 minutes to record his first win of the season. The World No. 161 is aiming to make his eighth appearance in the main draw in Melbourne, after also coming through qualifying last year.

The Bosnian did not face a break point against Lu and will next play Australian Rinky Hijikata after the wild card downed Frenchman Mathias Bourgue 6-3, 6-4 in 87 minutes.

Radu Albot also booked his place in the second round with a 7-6(6), 6-2 victory against Italy’s Filippo Baldi. The former World No. 39 enjoyed a run to the third round at the Australian Open in 2021 and will meet Yosuke Watanuki next after his one-hour 32-minute victory.

Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann rallied from a set-and-a-break down to overcome Jason Jung 6-7(5), 7-5, 6-0 in two hours and 18 minutes, while World No. 169 Elias Ymer beat Slovakian Jozef Kovalik 7-6(3), 6-2.

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Paul Beats Tiafoe In Adelaide Opener

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

Tommy Paul recorded his third win in four matches this year by overcoming fellow American Frances Tiafoe, the seventh seed, 6-2, 6-3 on Monday at the Adelaide International 2.

Paul won 24 of 29 first-service points for victory in 69 minutes, almost two months on from beating Tiafoe 5-7, 7-6(5), 6-4 en route to his first ATP Tour trophy at the Stockholm Open. The 24-year-old now challenges #NextGenATP Italian Lorenzo Musetti or Benjamin Bonzi of France in the second round.


World No. 156 Aleksandar Vukic recorded the biggest win of his career when the Australian wild card knocked out sixth seed Alexander Bublik of Kazakhstan 7-6(5), 6-2 in 80 minutes. Vukic led 6/0 in the first-set tie-break and will next face fellow Australian wild card Alex Bolt or American qualifier Steve Johnson. Vukic lost to Johnson 6-4, 2-6, 6-4 at last week’s ATP 250 event in Adelaide.

Elsewhere, Arthur Rinderknech, who represented Team France at last week’s ATP Cup, hit 22 aces to defeat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-3 in two hours and 13 minutes. He awaits the winner of fifth-seeded South African Lloyd Harris or Soonwoo Kwon of South Korea.

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Goffin Begins Sydney Campaign

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

David Goffin earned his first victory in eight months on Monday, downing Facundo Bagnis 6-4, 6-4 to reach the second round at the Sydney Tennis Classic.

The 31-year-old endured an injury-hit 2021 campaign, curtailing his season in September following the US Open due to a knee problem. However, the Belgian showed little sign of rustiness against World No. 71 Bagnis to advance after one hour and 31 minutes. Goffin’s last win came against Salvatore Caruso at the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in May.

The five-time tour-level titlist, who broke Bagnis four times en route to victory, will next play Argentine Federico Delbonis or World No. 44 Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Fifth seed Lorenzo Sonego also booked his place in the second round with a hard-fought 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 win over Frenchman Hugo Gaston.


The Italian was competing for the first time this year. Sonego won 81 per cent (44/54) of his first-serve points and fired eight aces to edge Gaston in two hours and 43 minutes.

The World No. 27 now leads the 21-year-old 2-0 in their ATP Head2Head series and will next face qualifier Christopher O’Connell or #NextGenATP Argentine Sebastian Baez.

Australian Jordan Thompson also moved through at the ATP 250 event on Ken Rosewall Arena, defeating American Marcos Giron 6-4, 6-2 in 83 minutes. The wild card rallied from a break down in the first set to set up a meeting with fourth seed Reilly Opelka in the second round.

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Felix Returns To Top 10, Mover Of Week

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

No. 9 Felix Auger-Aliassime, +2 (Career High)
The 21-year-old has climbed two spots to a career-high No. 9 in the ATP Rankings after he helped guide Canada to the ATP Cup title in Sydney. The eight-time tour-level finalist earned victories over Cameron Norrie, Alexander Zverev and Roberto Bautista Agut as Canada won the third edition of the 16-team event. Read ATP Cup Final Report & Watch Highlights

View Latest ATP Rankings

No. 17 Roberto Bautista Agut, +2
The nine-time tour-level titlist has risen two places after he captured four wins at ATP Cup as Spain reached the final in Sydney. The 33-year-old led Spain to top spot in Group A after beating Cristian Garin, Casper Ruud and Dusan Lajovic. Bautista Agut then overcame Top 10 star Hubert Hurkacz in the semi-finals. It is the second time Spain has reached the final at the tournament (2020).

No. 19 Gael Monfils, +2
The Frenchman has returned to the Top 20 after he clinched his 11th tour-level trophy at the Adelaide International 1. The 35-year-old did not drop a set en route to the title, beating Karen Khachanov in the final to earn his first tour-level crown since February 2020, when he triumphed in Rotterdam. Read Adelaide Final Report & Watch Highlights

No. 75 Maxime Cressy, +37 (Career High)
The 24-year-old has soared into the Top 100 of the ATP Rankings for the first time following his dream run at the Melbourne Summer Set. The American came through qualifying at the ATP 250 event and clinched standout wins over Reilly Opelka and Grigor Dimitrov, before losing to Rafael Nadal in the championship match. Read Melbourne Final Report & Watch Highlights

Other Notable Top 100 Movers
No. 31 Ugo Humbert, +4
No. 39 Filip Krajinovic, +3
No. 71 Facundo Bagnis, +5
No. 72 Jaume Munar, +5
No. 74 Alex Molcan, +14 (Career High)
No. 81 Juan Manuel Cerundolo, +9 (Career High)
No. 82 Mikael Ymer, +12

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Team Canada Enjoy Cruise Following ATP Cup Victory

  • Posted: Jan 10, 2022

Felix Auger-Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov led the celebrations on Monday as Team Canada took to the water in Sydney following its ATP Cup triumph.

Canada overcame Spain 2-0 in the final on Sunday to capture the third edition of the 16-team event, with Shapovalov downing Pablo Carreno Busta, before Auger-Aliassime sealed the win by defeating Roberto Bautista Agut.

To celebrate, the Canadian team enjoyed a boat ride on the Parramatta River, cruising past the Sydney Opera House as they held aloft the ATP Cup trophy and Canadian flags.

Photo Credit: Peter Staples/ATP Tour

It was a victory that had looked unlikely earlier in the week after Canada lost its first four matches and could have been eliminated before playing their third Group C tie. However, Auger-Aliassime earned a vital win against Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie to keep them alive, before Canada earned qualification for the semi-finals by moving past Germany 2-1.

A hard-fought semi-final deciding doubles win over Daniil Medvedev’s Russia saw Canada knock out the 2021 champion to set up a meeting with Spain, where Shapovalov and Auger-Aliassime then sealed victory.

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